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Off Grid

Feed-in Tariff closing April 2019.

Feed-in Tariff closing April 2019.

Are you considering installing Solar Panels in your home, business or school?

If so, with only 6 months left before the Feed-in Tariff ends, it may be worth considering sooner rather than later. Right now, the Feed-in Tariff currently pays you for the electricity your system sends back to the grid for upto 20 years.

FITs In Summary

The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme is a UK Government scheme designed to encourage uptake of a range of small-scale renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies.

Under FITs, you could be paid for the electricity you generate if you install or have installed an eligible system like solar PV, a wind or hydro turbine, or micro CHP.

The UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) makes the policy decisions about the FITs scheme and are the relevant contact for queries about legislation.

The energy regulator Ofgem E-Serve administers the scheme.

Certain energy suppliers (also known as FITs licensees) handle FITs scheme applications and will make the FITs payments. The large energy suppliers are required by law to be FITs Licensees; smaller suppliers are not required by law to do this but many have opted to offer this service anyway. Visit Ofgem for a list of FITs Licensees.

Please note that the information on this page is not an exhaustive list of all the criteria of the Feed-In Tariffs scheme.

How much could I receive through FITs?

If you are eligible to receive FITs payments you will benefit in three ways:

  • Generation tariff: your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and are index-linked.
  • Export tariff: your energy supplier will pay you a further rate for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, so you can sell any electricity you generate but don't use yourself. At some stage smart meters will be installed to measure what you export, but until then it is estimated as being 50 per cent (75 per cent for hydro) of the electricity you generate (only systems above 30kWp need to have an export meter fitted, and a domestic system is unlikely to be that big).
  • Energy bill savings: you will be making savings on your electricity bills because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site. Visit our Renewable electricity pages.

Article from the Energy Saving Trust Website

Get in contact with us today for more information on how we can help you save money, save energy and save carbon!

E - info@brightspark.energy

W - www.brightspark.energy

T - @BrightSparkEn

Steyning Downland Scheme Gateway Building

Steyning Downland Scheme Gateway Building

The Steyning Downland Scheme engages the local community and young people in particular, in enhancing the natural beauty of 165 acres of the South Downs National Park for the benefit of the community, the land and its wildlife. They are a registered charity, run in accordance with Christian values, partnering with the Wiston Estate, the National Park Authority, A Rocha UK and local volunteers.

The Charity has recently completed the construction of a new 'gateway' building at the entrance to their Nature Reserve for use by schools, community groups and the general public.

Matthew Thomas, Project Manager of Steyning Downland Scheme and Tara Kennard, Business Manager of Bright Spark Energy.

Matthew Thomas, Project Manager of Steyning Downland Scheme and Tara Kennard, Business Manager of Bright Spark Energy.

The Problem

Matthew Thomas, Project Manager at the Downland Scheme, contacted Bright Spark Energy to work with the Scheme to provide power to the Gateway Building to charge tools and electronic learning resources and lighting for function and external lighting for Solar PV.

The Gateway Building provided a number of challenges.  Because of the age of the distribution network in the area, providing mains electricity was not a cost-effective option so our Solar PV design team had to come up with a number of other options.

The Solution

At Bright Spark we have a history of designing and installing off grid Solar PV systems with battery storage, so we designed a bespoke Solar PV system for the Downland Schemes Gateway Building.  The Off-Grid System included:

·      260w Yingli Solar Panels x 5

·      Victron Blue Solar MPPT

·      Victron Phoenix Inverter

·      Victron Super AGM Super Cycle M8 Batteries x 2

·      New Distribution Board with new LED IP rated Lighting, External Bulkheads with MW sensors         and an             LED PIR Spotlight.

The system will have the following characteristics:

Picture11.png
The Solar Panels on the Gateway Building.

The Solar Panels on the Gateway Building.

The team at the Gateway were very happy with the end result. 

“We’re extremely grateful to Bright Spark Energy for helping us out with a power supply for the Gateway” said Matthew Thomas, SDS Project Manager. “Now we can fit lighting inside, which will be a huge help, particularly for those short, winter days when we do most of our habitat conservation work”.

Donating the System to the Downland Scheme.

 We were so excited about the project we decided to sponsor the gateway building by donating the Solar PV system with battery storage and the LED lighting.

“Part of our ethos is to invest our time and profits back into working on local community projects such as the Steyning Downland Scheme.  I was very impressed by the work they have been doing and the positive impact it will have on the local schools and wider community.  Mark Stevenson, Managing Director, Bright Spark Energy.

 

Charlie and Saul installing the Charge Controller and Inverter.

Charlie and Saul installing the Charge Controller and Inverter.

How Bright Spark Energy helped a company significantly save on rising electricity bills!

How Bright Spark Energy helped a company significantly save on rising electricity bills!

On Reflection Mirrors is the leading specialist antique mirror dealers in the UK.  The company is run from a Barn in the village of Charlton Horethorne in Somerset.

The company’s electricity bills were rising significantly in order to effectively light and heat the showroom, restoration workshop and offices.  Electricity costs were approx. £ 2,500 per annum and rising.  The work areas had a mix of 5ft and 6ft T8/T12 and traditional fluorescent lighting, track lighting and additional lamps plugged into sockets to provide a good enough lighting level.  Heating was a mix of electric and infrared heating panels.  All of these panels were at least five years old and not very efficient.

Bright Spark were asked to design a solution that not only reduced the energy consumption of the buildings but also to improve lighting quality.  We were also asked to provide a Solar PV system to reduce the reliance on grid bought electricity.

Solar PV System

The showroom was in the curtilage of a grade 2 listed building so Bright Spark worked with the customer and the local Planners to develop a scheme that met local planning requirements.  It was important to minimise the impact of the Solar panels on the aesthetics of the building so through dialogue and a number of different iterations all parties agreed on a solution.

We proposed a 6.84KWp Solar PV System with all black JA Solar 285w panels and 2 Solis Inverters.  Our installers also ensured that all of the mid clamps, end clamps and the end of the mounting rails were sprayed black to fit in with the surroundings.

Using the standard MCS yield calculator we calculated the following yields for the installation. 

This had the following pay back based on the low electricity cost of 10.45p.

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Overall it is estimated that the customer will save approx. £ 23,000 over the 20 years of the FITs period based on an RPI of 2.5% per annum and an EPI of 5% per annum.

LED Lighting

The existing lighting in the building was of a poor quality and inefficient.  During the Solar PV installation our team also swapped over the lighting.  The mirror showroom was a real challenge to light effectively.  In order to replace the track lighting and old fluorescent battens we redesigned the lighting scheme to maximise the effect of the stock below.  We chose a 4000k “Neutral White” color with an opal diffuser to soften the spread of light.

Lighting quality – pre installation.

Lighting quality – pre installation.

Impact of the LED Lighting.

Impact of the LED Lighting.

The benefits of the LED lighting upgrade have included:

  ·       72% reduction in energy usage

·       Better quality lighting improving the showroom and working

        environments

·       Reduction in heat during the summer months

·       Significantly reduced maintenance costs with a long term 10-year           

        warranty.

Overall the LED installation cost £ 657.38 plus VAT with a payback period of 2.4 years.

Next Steps:

The customer has recently contacted us to further investigate the opportunity of Battery Storage linked to the Solar PV system and new high efficiency heating panels for the showroom and working areas.

 

Customer Contact Details:

Mrs Alison Roelich

Managing Director,

On Reflection Mirrors, Bull Inn Farmhouse, Horse Lane, Charlton Horethorne, Somerset, DT9 4NL

info@on-reflection.co.uk

01963 220723 / 07971 889093

Bright Spark Energy are lighting up the gateway ...

Bright Spark Energy are lighting up the gateway ...

The Steyning Downland Scheme Charity has recently completed the construction of a new 'gateway' building at the entrance to their Nature Reserve for use by schools, community groups and the general public.  The team at Bright Spark will sponsor the gateway building by donating an “off-grid” Solar PV system with battery storage and LED lighting to extend the use of the building to all year round.

Bermondsey Huts - Off Grid Solar & LED

Bermondsey Huts - Off Grid Solar & LED

Developing an all year round off grid solution for lighting and refridgeration.

The Bermondsey Huts have been used as a community and spiritual retreat for over 30 years and as part of our commitment to reinvesting profits back into customer projects we are donating our time to complete the project. The Huts are currently open for only six months of the year but we are supporting the installation of the equipment to extend this to 50 weeks a year.

The brief:

Bright Spark were engaged by Worth Abbey to develop, design and implement an off grid Solar PV System for the Bermondsey Huts, a community residential centre and spiritual retreat at Worth Abbey in East Grinstead, Sussex.

Room before LED Upgrade

Room before LED Upgrade

Room post LED Upgrade

Room post LED Upgrade

Summary of the Project:

  • New State of the Art Alarm System with automated response
  • Installation of a 2KWp off grid solar PV system linked to a battery storage system
  • Integration of existing solar PV and battery storage
  • Installation of the infrastructure to link a Wind Turbine to the Battery Controllers
  • Remove existing 12v lighting system and replace with new 230v system and new energy efficient LED lighting with minimal power usage.
  • Integrate new wifi link, security system and external LED lighting into the design.

The implemented systems should allow the Bermondsey Huts to be used all year round to benefit the local community and groups from further afield.